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The Continued Effects of the Colonial Era on the EU's Foreign Policy Towards its Mediterranean/Southern Neighbourhood

10 hour course by Michelle Pace (Roskilde University)

  • Schedule: 4-8 July (11:15-13:15). Venue: IBEI
  • Format: Hybrid

Calls for decolonizing global relations are accumulating, including in Europe where colonial statues and monuments have been torn down in an attempt to make European societies reckon with their violent past and present legacies of colonialism. This is of particular relevance to Europe-Mediterranean relations, as the Mediterranean space has been at the interface of European colonial and imperial history, and as there are continuing effects and affects of the colonial era on (more specifically) the EU’s foreign policy in the Mediterranean. However, EU practices amnesia and redirection rather than genuine atonement about the “European colonial past” in the Mediterranean. Such amnesia and redirection is, however, increasingly difficult to sustain. In the Arab world, in a more than decade long uprising, citizens continue to request their right to self-determination. This is matched by a growing quest, particularly among the younger generations in Europe, to shed a deeper light on its colonial past and legacy and to decolonise our production of knowledge about the “Other”. This engagement is still at an early stage, and yet, it is of crucial relevance to put Euro-Mediterranean relations on a more equal footing, while setting the stage for a future of mutual understanding, in a space which is ever more conflictual.

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